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Bronchitis may trigger acid reflux

Those suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are more prone to develop stomach acid reflux or heartburn.

Bronchitis may trigger acid reflux

Those suffering from breathing problems such as emphysema or bronchitis, known generally as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD are more prone to develop stomach acid reflux or heartburn. To investigate the association between COPD and acid reflux, researchers from Spain analysed patients initially free of chronic heartburn or GERD (for gastroesophageal reflux disease); 1628 of them had COPD and 14,243 did not. During follow-up over five years, the incidence of GERD was to be 46 percent higher among those with COPD than among the patients without COPD. On the other hand, COPD did not occur any more frequently among 4391 patients with GERD and 5118 individuals without GERD. The above findings indicate that COPD appears to predispose patients to GERD rather than vice versa. The researchers urged doctors to keep in mind that COPD patients may also be struggling with the symptoms of GERD and that treatment could improve their quality of life. They suggest using questionnaires to diagnose GERD in patients with COPD to ensure that they are managed appropriately.
Chest
December 2008
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